The CFP Board has launched a new ad campaign leveraging the increased flexibility that comes with the split of the organization into two entities earlier this year.
The new ad campaign will be on television, as well as digital, streaming, audio and other platforms. The campaign will run from today until May 21, with a goal of over 1 billion impressions.
In January, the Board made the decision to divide the organization, creating a 501(c)(3) called the CFP Board Center for Financial Planning, which will focus on research, industry diversity and scholarship and pro bono work, while a 501(c)(6) called the CFP Board of Standards will credential advisors.
In an interview with WealthManagement.com, CEO Kevin Keller explained how previous advertisements had to focus on the educational benefits of being a CFP advisor because of the constraints that came with being a 501(c)(3). However, the Board's ads going forward will have the freedom to promote financial benefits to clients and advisors.
Keller noted that the new ad explicitly highlights how asking the right questions can significantly impact one's future, particularly in terms of finances.
The ad encourages viewers to ask if their advisor is CFP-certified and how to find one. The new ad, titled "Bungee," was developed with BUNTIN, a Nashville, Tenn.–based ad agency, with several other ads already filmed and set to follow in the coming years.
Keller said that the changes for CFP staff will be minimal after the split, with some exceptions. Accounting will need to run independent books for each swath of the organization, while the legal department will need to repaper many contracts and agreements due to the name changes. Keller aims to have this work "substantially complete" by the time the Board of Directors meets in November, so they can approve separate budgets and goals (the Board will be the same for both organizations).
The Board first began considering a split in late 2021, according to Keller and Chair Daniel Moisand. The change opens up new lobbying opportunities for the Board; while in the past, the CFP Board could only advocate based on benefits for the public, the Board will now be able to lobby directly for advisors.
The change also allows the Board to directly promote the financial benefits of holding the certification. “I could never say that before. You could (only) say that you helped people," Keller said.
Keller said the Board conducted focus groups that compared its best ad from its 501(c)(3) period against a current sample promoting the average six-figure salary for a certified advisor. The latter ad performed 2 1/2 times better, according to Keller.